Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Numbers Chapter 20
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 20:1-13
20:2And there was no water for the congregation: and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 20:3And the people strove with Moses, and spake, saying, Would that we had died when our brethren died before Jehovah! 20:4And why have ye brought the assembly of Jehovah into this wilderness, that we should die there, we and our beasts? 20:5And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. 20:6And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tent of meeting, and fell upon their faces: and the glory of Jehovah appeared unto them. 20:7And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 20:8Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink.
20:9And Moses took the rod from before Jehovah, as he commanded him. 20:10And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; shall we bring you forth water out of this rock? 20:11And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice: and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. 20:12And Jehovah said unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed not in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them. 20:13These are the waters of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with Jehovah, and he was sanctified in them.
September 19, 1943: Numbers 20:1-13
With respect to the inner life, what do we understand from the statement that the “children of Israel ... abode in Kadesh”? The name Kadesh means “clean, pure, bright, holy, sacred.” The Children of Israel represent our religious thoughts and ideas. Since these form the innermost part of our thought life, it is fitting that we should keep them clean, pure, bright, holy, and sacred, uncontaminated by self-interest or regard for worldly position or standing.
What further significance has the name in individual consciousness? It represents the sinless, ideal state that exists in the depths of the consciousness of every individual. There our thoughts are passed upon and adjusted to our consciousness of good. It is revealed to us wherein we fall short of the perfect law, and further cleansing of consciousness is there undertaken.
Of what do we rid ourselves in this consciousness? Of bitterness of soul over personal failures. Miriam (the soul), who had shown bitterness toward her brother Moses, died in Kadesh, and was buried there. Misdirected love in the soul causes bitterness, but in this stage of unfoldment the soul experiences a deeper cleansing and a higher revelation of Spirit The bitterness of sense desires dies out.
Does any bitterness remain in us after the rebellious desires of sense represented by Miriam die out? Other qualities besides misdirected love may arouse bitterness as well as presumption. The Children of Israel were bitter in their complaints to Moses, when the necessities of life were lacking in the wilderness. Those who are immature in spiritual development are bitter toward God, when they experience lack.
In supplying our needs which is more powerful, humility or bitterness, and faultfinding? Because it is constructive, humility is more powerful than bitterness and faultfinding, which are destructive and negative in their effect. The assembly of the people could have united with Moses and Aaron in prayer for the needed water supply instead of attacking them as personally responsible for the lack.
What effect did the complaining have on Moses? It roused him to anger, but the supply of water was forthcoming regardless of his personal feelings. The religious nature (Children of Israel) is never entirely quenched by lack.
Is it possible for us to be humble toward God but presumptuous toward our fellow beings? Yes, the heart may undergo these sudden shifts of feeling. Moses and Aaron “fell upon their faces” so that “the glory of Jehovah appeared unto them,” and Moses realized what he had to do to relieve the situation. When he later faced the angry assembly, anger rose in him and mastered his humility so that he spoke and acted presumptuously.
To what is such a sudden change in feeling due? To the influence that we allow others to exert over us. If Moses had held steadfast in the same state of mind that he felt under the glory of Jehovah, he would not have fallen short of the required humility in dealing with the people.
What is implied in the forbidding of Moses and Aaron to lead the Children of Israel into Canaan? That presumption shuts us out of spiritual consciousness as long as it is allowed to dominate us, since it is out of place there.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 20:14-21
20:14And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: 20:15how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians dealt ill with us, and our fathers: 20:16and when we cried unto Jehovah, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border. 20:17Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy land: we will not pass through field or through vineyard, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go along the king's highway; we will not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy border.
20:18And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass through me, lest I come out with the sword against thee. 20:19And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go up by the highway; and if we drink of thy water, I and my cattle, then will I give the price thereof: let me only, without doing anything else, pass through on my feet. 20:20And he said, Thou shalt not pass through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. 20:21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.
Metaphysically Interpreting Numbers 20:22-29
20:22And they journeyed from Kadesh: and the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came unto mount Hor. 20:23And Jehovah spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 20:24Aaron shall be gathered unto his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah. 20:25Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor; 20:26and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there. 20:27And Moses did as Jehovah commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 20:28And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount. 20:29And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-02-2014